Let me start by telling you that I have no business to be skiing. I am from a place where the average temperature year-round is in the high twenties (Celsius). Nonetheless, I scolded myself for having lived in the US for almost eight years and having never cruised the slopes. So I paid for the Montreal trip in advance and committed myself to a wild ride!!
February 16, 2001:
We are told that we must ride in our “assigned” buses, which were grouped by section. No disrespect, I LOVE SECTION G, but I had planned to ride with some friends for the six hours and was annoyed at being “told” where to sit. Anyway, the bus rolls out and we start watching The Matrix. To my surprise, quite a few people haven’t seen this future classic!! I have, so I start to doze off . . .
Around 8:30 pm
The bus starts to slow down amid people beginning to rumble speculatively and we hear a loud “Pop!!” and proceed to pull into a gas station. The driver Joe, announces that we have a flat tire. We get off the bus and notice it has a severe tilt. O brother! “How long is it going to take to get it fixed or replaced?” We ask Jake (a.k.a. Jerk), the tour guide.” “Optimistically, thirty minutes – realistically, one hour!” he whispers.
People are furious! One hour! We’re all quite hungry and so go to the convenience store – some people start munching on beef jerky while my compatriots and I order pizza from Domino’s. We get back on the bus and carry on watching the ber-sexy Keanu Reeves build sexual tension with the sultry Trinity . . .
3 am and Counting …
“Dear God, please tell me what it is that you are trying to test. Our endurance? Trust in you? Dynamic group skills? Take aways from Subartic Survival? Lord of the Flies? Whether we watched Alive where cannibalism was the only means of continued existence? Please forgive me for my sins. I lied twice yesterday and had a few immoral thoughts. I have learned my lesson already. Game over! Amen!”
5am . . . .
Frustration Continues to Mount
Benny, the tow truck operator/ spare tire man fixes us up but now the hydraulics refuse to work adequately so we still can’t leave. The bus has a bad forty-five degree slant! Where the @!#$ are our @!#@ing friends/classmates on the other buses? Won’t they come get us? Okay relax, Aisha. People are angry, testy and a few have even wept. We walk over to the Holiday Inn where we are told that there are only five available rooms so some have to sleep on the bus and others will have to squat, five to a room.
February 17, 2001:
“All of those in favor of returning to Boston, please raise your hands.” Fifteen hands go up. Oh shit! I will do something sinful if I am forced to return to Allston. “All those in favor of going to Montreal?” 20 hands go up. Phew! The worst is over, apart from getting stopped by the Canadian police for driving in the wrong lane, we reach the Hotel du Parc. Yes! I “deboard” the bus and the wind that rocks my 120-ish lb frame is ferocious. There is no @!#$ing way I am skiing! I wish I were in Bermuda.
If the above sounds like I had a terrible time, that’s not really the case. All in all, the trip was fun. Met some awesome January EC students. Roomed with the coolest Persian princesses: Sormeh Dowlatshahi and Bita Fazeli. It was great to just talk with women about non-HBS stuff. We talked about what we wanted out of life, what we wanted out of men and how we wanted both. We ate at really swanky restaurants, sipped at the cool bars, danced to hip-hop and oldies at the Wax lounge and got some much-needed sleep. You know you’ve really bonded when everyone is naked and sprawled around a sauna. Cheers mate! See you in Aruba.